Donald William Shunn, Ed.D. (1936-2008)

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My father passed away about an hour ago. He was 72.

It was not at all unexpected, as he had been battling an unusually aggressive prostate cancer for a couple of years. New tumors were choking off his colon, and since further surgeries promised to be only temporary holding actions, he made the decision about three weeks ago to go home from the hospital and wait out the end there with family and friends around.

Though there were still a lot of things left unsaid between the two of us, I was at least able to travel to Utah to visit him and say goodbye. I sat up with him one night from two to six in the morning, taking my turn on the watch. He woke up at three and drifted in and out of consciousness the rest of the morning. At one point he turned to me with hollowed cheeks and those blue, blue eyes I inherited (along with plenty of other traits) and said, "I wonder what it's like on the other side." An atheist, I didn't have much of a response to that, except to venture that I'd heard it might be nice there.

He is survived by my mother, his eight children (of whom I'm the eldest), something approximating 17 grandchildren, and one older sister (the last of his five other siblings).

I hope you're enjoying a big reunion party, Dad, even if it's just the one in my mind.

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Good morning Bill,

As I write this note to you, I do so with fond memories of you and your beutiful family while you and I grew up in Utah.

I would like to offer my condolences to you for the loss of your father. I moved away from our old home town for several years, but returned eight years ago. I was able to see your father many times in the community. He was loved by everyone. He always seemed very happy and content every day.

I was having dinner at your father's favorite resturant in Kaysville yesterday whenI learned of your father's passing the day of the funeral. I only wish I would have known just a few hours earlier so I could have attended. I have always had great respect for your father.

Bill, you fater was very proud of you for your great accomplishments and contributuions. He always had such great and respectful words when I asked how my old buddy Bill was doing in the east. What a success story!

Take care of yourself and your wife. Again, I am sorry I missed you and the funeral yesterday.

Craig Layton

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This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on March 10, 2008 8:12 AM.

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